Life After Weight Loss Surgery
After weight loss surgery, continuing to lose weight can be difficult given that sometimes people lose perspective. When someone comes into Roller Weight Loss & Advanced Surgery for their first visit, we ask them why they want to have surgery. The answers we receive are often along the lines of “I want to live longer,” “I want to get off of medications,” or “I’d like to be more active.” These are some of the best reasons to consider weight loss surgery. Team Roller wants to help you get there.
As previously mentioned, keeping the weight off can become difficult if perspective is lost. People may forget the “Why?” of their journey. When someone first has weight loss surgery, they lose weight quickly. However, there are stalls that tend to happen. These stalls can often last two to three weeks and it can be hard to convince a person that this is not the end of their weight loss journey. How can we work through this obstacle? Hopefully, the following tips will answer this question for you!
How Can You Track Your Progress?
One easy way to follow progress is by tracking size. After having weight loss surgery, people are typically thrilled with how much their size changes. However, many are shocked to see that they will sometimes lose size without losing weight. Why is this?!
This is typically due to a change in body composition. When someone maintains a healthy protein intake and exercise routine, he or she builds muscle mass. This is a good thing, but what happens when someone is building muscle and losing fat at the same time? Well, their size will go down but the number on the scale stays the same. Essentially, when tracking your progress, track your size because tracking weight only can be misleading.
Tracking Physical Ability
Another way to gauge progress is by paying attention to changes in physical ability. Even small changes can become huge confidence boosters! For example, can you now tie your shoes? Can you cross your legs? Are you able to walk up the stairs without being out of breath? These things may sound simple, but improvements like this shouldn’t be ignored! Changes in physical strength and ability can and will lead to even more improvements. Many people after surgery are surprised to find themselves running 10ks or training for triathlons!
Tracking Overall Health
One other metric to pay attention to is health. One of the most important reasons to have a weight loss procedure is to improve one’s overall health and well-being. After surgery, it’s common to get off blood pressure or diabetic medications within the first couple of weeks, but the progress doesn’t have to stop there!
Weight loss surgery leads to a healthier life, but it’s up to the individual to pursue a healthier life beyond the procedure itself. If someone hits a stall in their weight loss journey, it’s important to remember these huge accomplishments, such as absence of severe diabetes, high blood pressure, and joint pain.
We’ve talked about a lot of important things to track as one continues their weight loss journey after surgery, but here’s one that cannot go unchecked: moments of success. The “Why?” of your journey should always be in the back of your mind. Very few people have surgery just to make the number on the scale smaller, so it doesn’t make sense to just pay attention to that aspect of your journey. Keep track of the accomplishments you make, and use those as inspiration! Whether it’s getting off of medications, experiencing increased physical strength, or being able to fit into clothes that you haven’t been able to in years, there are positives.
Team Roller hopes that you keep the good things in mind as you go through your journey. Stalls, challenges, roadblocks, you name it, are going to happen. Don’t let the scale lie to you, telling you that you aren’t doing well or that you won’t get to where you want to be. Not only are you able to take control and follow the necessary steps towards success, you will always have Team Roller here to cheer you on!
By Matt Johnson, RD, LD